Mark Memmott

Mark Memmott is one of the hosts of NPR's "The Two-Way" news blog.

"The Two-Way," which Memmott helped to launched when he came to NPR in 2009, focuses on breaking news, analysis, and the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Before joining NPR, Memmott worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor at USA Today. He focused on a range of coverage from politics, foreign affairs, economics, and the media. He's reported from places across the Unites States and the world, including half a dozen trips to Afghanistan in 2002-2003.

During his time at USA Today, Memmott, helped launch and lead three USAToday.com news blogs: "On Deadline," "The Oval" and "On Politics," the site's 2008 presidential campaign blog.

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Jobless Claims Fell Sharply Last Week

Many Americans hope to see more signs like this in coming months. (Photo taken earlier this year in San Rafael, Calif.)
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 9:52 am

There were 346,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits, down 42,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Meanwhile, the "4-week moving average" of claims was 358,000, up by 3,000 from the previous week's 355,000. That measure smooths out some of the volatility in the numbers.

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Shark! Fisherman Gets Quite A Scare, Catches Scene On Video

Isaac Brumaghim had his video recorder running when a tiger shark came by and grabbed his catch.
YouTube.com/AQAHNTR

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 11:31 am

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The Two-Way
5:37 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Wild Weather Warning: Tornadoes, Heavy Snows, High Winds

Where is spring? Icy branches partially blocked a city street Wednesday in Sioux Falls, S.D. More wintry weather is expected there Thursday.
Dirk Lammers ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • From St. Louis Public Radio: Tim Lloyd reports on the severe weather

While a "Minnesota winter that won't end is expected to dump up to a foot of snow in the Twin Cities by Thursday night," people in Missouri and Arkansas are "grappling with the aftermath of a series of storms that spawned at least two tornadoes."

And the wild weather is spreading to other parts of the nation:

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The Two-Way
5:06 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Will North Korea Claim Victory And Stand Down?

On Wednesday, a North Korean soldier looked on from the banks of the Yalu River on the border with China.
Wang Zhao AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 6:21 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Frank Langfitt and David Greene discuss the latest news from the Korean peninsula

As the world waits for what's expected to be another ballistic missile test by North Korea sometime in the next few days, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports there's reason to think that tensions on the Korean Peninsula might soon ease.

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Wed April 10, 2013

She Won $40,000! No, It Was $40 Million! Happy Dance Time!

The Windsor Star shows." href="/post/she-won-40000-no-it-was-40-million-happy-dance-time" class="noexit lightbox">
When Maria Carreiro found out she had won $40 million, she danced with joy. She recreated her "happy dance" for reporters, as a video posted by The Windsor Star shows.
The Windsor Star

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 10:58 am

Maria Carreiro of Toronto was thrilled when she thought she had won $40,000 (Canadian).

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Wed April 10, 2013

'Friends And Neighbors' Exception Part Of Deal On Gun Checks

The scene at a gun show in Alabama last month.
Joe Songer AL.COM /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 11:52 am

We last updated this post at 1:50 p.m. ET:

Saying "this is a start and it's not the end of our work," Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia confirmed Wednesday morning that he and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania have put together a bipartisan plan that they believe will "keep guns out of dangerous hands."

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Anthony Weiner Is Eyeing A Return To Politics

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., at a Brooklyn Nets basketball game in November 2012.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 9:50 am

Just under two years after his once-rising political career went up in flames because of an extramarital sexting scandal, former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner is plotting a possible comeback.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Top Stories: North Korea; Obama's Budget; Gun Legislation

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 9:40 am

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Students Stopped The Stabbing Suspect At Texas College

Dylan Quick, who is accused in the stabbings at Lone Star College, in a photo supplied to the news media Wednesday by the Harris County (Texas) Sheriff's Office.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 11:19 am

"My first thought was I need to go catch him."

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Wed April 10, 2013

8 For 8: Connecticut Wins Another Women's Hoops Title

Connecticut Huskies forward Breanna Stewart takes a shot during first-half action in the women's Division I NCAA championship game Tuesday night in New Orleans. She was the tournament's most outstanding player.
Cloe Poisson/Hartford Courant MCT /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 9:28 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Goldman on the women's championship

For the University of Louisville's Lady Cardinals, it just wasn't meant to be.

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The Two-Way
4:36 am
Wed April 10, 2013

'Very High' Chance North Korea Will Soon Test Fire Missile

Japan is on full alert ahead of an expected mid-range missile launch by North Korea, its defense minister said as the U.N. warned of a potentially 'uncontrollable' situation. A Japanese soldier walks past a missile launcher deployed in Tokyo.
Toru Yamanaka AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 9:23 am

North Korea's next provocative move — the test firing of a medium-range ballistic missile — could happen at any moment, according to South Korean officials.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that "the possibility of a ballistic missile launch is 'very high' and 'may materialize anytime from now,' South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se told lawmakers in Seoul today."

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Actor Who Played Satan Scoffs At Obama Comparison

Moroccan actor Mehdi Ouazzani with an image of himself in character as Satan.
Abdeljalil Bounhar AP

"It's nonsense," Moroccan actor Mehdi Ouazzani says of the fuss created by some conservative TV talkers who think Ouazzani was made to look as much like President Obama as he did Satan in The History Channel miniseries "The Bible."

Still, he tells The Associated Press that the notoriety is a good thing:

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Charges Fly In Ky. Senate Race After McConnell Tape Surfaces

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 10:24 am

An audio recording has surfaced of Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and some of his campaign aides seeming to discuss whether they would use actress Ashley Judd's past bouts with depression against her if she challenged McConnell in 2014.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Cher's Alive, Despite What You Read On Twitter

Cher in 2011.
Danny Moloshok Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 8:35 am

What do you see when you read this Twitter hashtag?

#nowthatcherisdead

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Top Stories: South Koreans Aren't Fazed; Syria Rejects Probe

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 1:16 pm

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The Two-Way
5:54 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Thatcher's Funeral Set For April 17

A Union flag flies at half staff over the Houses of Parliament, and next to the Big Ben clock tower, in honor of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who died Monday.
Luke MacGregor Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 8:09 am

British Prime Minister David Cameron's office announced Tuesday morning that "Lady Thatcher's funeral service will take place on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 at St Paul's Cathedral."

The "Iron Lady" — former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher — died Monday in London following a stroke. She was 87.

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Tue April 9, 2013

North Korea's Warnings More Boring Than Alarming To Those In South

Two women sit at a cafe Monday in central Seoul, South Korea. While North Korea has been issuing threats on a daily basis, many South Koreans say they're more bored than worried.
Lee Jae-Won Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 11:25 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Frank Langfitt reports from Seoul

There were more ominous-sounding words from North Korea on Tuesday. Pyongyang warned tourists and foreign companies in South Korea to leave for their own safety because a nuclear war may be imminent.

It was the latest in a string of threats in recent days.

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The Two-Way
4:51 am
Tue April 9, 2013

3 Things To Know About Louisville's Basketball Championship

The Louisville Cardinals celebrated after beating Michigan 82-76 in the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Mark Cornelison MCT /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:00 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': David Greene and Mike Pesca talk about Louisville's win

By beating Michigan 82-76 Monday night in Atlanta, Louisville won this year's Division I men's basketball championship.

In winning:

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Louisville Basketball Has A Rare Chance At A Double

In New Orleans on Sunday, the women from Louisville (in red) defeated California to reach the championship game against Connecticut on Tuesday.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Around midnight ET Monday, we should know whether something that's only happened once might happen again.

If the University of Louisville's men win the Division I basketball championship — they play Michigan in a game set to start at 9:23 p.m. ET on CBS TV — then there's a chance that this year both the men's and women's trophies will go to the same school.

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Complaints Soar, But Airlines' Quality Rating Stays High

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:07 am

In what would seem to be a contradiction, a respected study says that the quality of service provided by U.S. airlines remained near an all-time high last year even as passengers' complaints soared 22 percent.

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Mon April 8, 2013

'Independent Adviser' To Review Rutgers' Actions

Mike Rice, who was then Rutgers' men's basketball coach, during a game last season.
David Pokress Ai Wire /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 9:36 am

Rutgers University says it plans to have an "independent adviser ... conduct a review of the circumstances surrounding the men's basketball program as well as the procedures used to investigate allegations related to former head coach Mike Rice."

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Former British Prime Minister Thatcher Dies

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1981. She died Monday, at the age of 87.
PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 10:12 am

Margaret Thatcher, who as British prime minister in the 1980s became known as the "Iron Lady" for her tough economic policies, her partnership with President Reagan in standing up to communism and the short war with Argentina over the Falklands, has died.

Her spokesman, Lord Bell, tells the British Press Association that Baroness Thatcher died Monday following a stroke. She was 87.

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The Two-Way
5:39 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Blocked Or Breaking Through? Mixed Signals On Gun Bills

This AR-15 style weapon was on display in March at the 7th annual Border Security Expo in Phoenix, Ariz. It's among the type of weapons that advocates of new gun laws want to see banned.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 6:05 am

If this is President Obama's "make-or-break week on guns," as Politico declares, then it starts with considerable confusion about where things stand regarding the likelihood of passing new gun control laws.

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The Two-Way
5:04 am
Mon April 8, 2013

North Korea To Shut Jointly Run Factories, May Test Missile

Do not enter: Barriers, including spikes, at the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in the Gyeonggi province, South Korea.
Jeon Heon-kyun EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 9:28 am

  • Louisa Lim, reporting on the NPR Newscast

Monday's developments on the Korean Peninsula, where tensions have been running even higher than usual in recent weeks:

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Puzzling, Shaky Start To New Round Of Iran Talks

The negotiating table in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where the U.S. and other nations are talking with Iran about that nation's nuclear ambitions.
Ilyas Omarov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 10:42 am

The first day of the latest talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group about the Persian nation's nuclear ambitions has ended with reports of a "shaky" start and Western diplomats saying they are puzzled by what Iran brought to the table.

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Reports: Rutgers Athletic Director Is Out Of A Job

Rutgers University Athletic director Tim Pernetti.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 12:17 pm

(We most recently updated the top of this post at 2:15 p.m. ET.)

The abusive actions of the men's basketball coach at Rutgers University, who was videotaped physically and verbally abusing his players during the team's practices and was fired after the scenes were broadcast by ESPN, have now also cost the school's athletic director his job.

Tim Pernetti submitted his resignation Friday morning.

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Top Stories: Jobs Report; Pope's Call For Action

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 7:58 am

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The Two-Way
6:58 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Job Growth Slows Sharply, But Unemployment Rate Dips

Li-Wen Hung (left) and Whitney Chen were waiting to meet potential employers at a Manhattan job fair earlier this year.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 11:44 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Yuki Noguchi talks with David Greene about the latest employment report

There were just 88,000 jobs added to private and public payrolls in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates.

But the nation's jobless rate still edged down to 7.6 percent from 7.7 percent. That dip wasn't for a good reason, though: Nearly half a million fewer people were participating in the labor force. That smaller pool meant the jobless rate could tick down even as job growth was weak.

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Fri April 5, 2013

'Look — My Tibia!' Louisville Player Cracks 'Top 10' Jokes

Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware talking with reporters Wednesday, as coach Rick Pitino looked on.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 7:57 am

You have to give Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware credit. He's a really good sport.

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